Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Week 4 of the 50 Buck Challenge

Week 4 was my birthday week, so we did veer off course a little.  Instead of our usual eating out on birthdays we had take out from the city's annual Greek Food Festival.  I also had lunch out on my birthday, so I used no food here.  TheHub had a dinner meeting Monday night and I had enough Greek food left for one.  Mom made me a birthday cake ( I asked her to please not make it but I got it anyway) so there was cake for snacking and breakfast one morning.

The Shopping:
Green peppers 3@.99  1.98
Bread .99
Mandarins 2.69
Tomatoes .99
Salsa 1.49
Big Dipper Chips 1.59 (Yes a luxury item. Another ball game weekend at the lake)
Italian sausage 2.49
Chicken breasts 6.47
Cabbage 1.19
Iceberg lettuce .89
Chocolate milk 1.59
2 % milk 2.69
Garlic Powder .99
Bamboo shoots .50
Bean sprouts .50
Cheese Crackers 1.59
Taco shells* .89
Ground beef* 1.99 lb  3.00
Hamburger buns .85

Dollar Tree
Crapcrapstic coffee 1.00

Piggly Wiggly
Pork tenderloin 1.99@ lb.  3.52
Onions 3lb. 1.49
Coffee 3.99 (Not the greatest but worlds better than the Dollar Tree crap)

Grits  1.27

Spent 43.64 this week but I did not cook Thursday night and only partially cooked Friday night, plus I had Greek Festival leftovers for Monday.

I have about 1/3 bag of mandarins left. 1/2 head cabbage, 1 full gallon of milk, 5 chicken breasts (frozen) Italian sausage (frozen) 4 chicken thighs (frozen last week) onions (about 1 1/4 lb.) bell peppers (3),  bamboo shoots, coffee (glorious coffee) about 1/2 box of cheese crackers, 1/2 jar salsa, and 2 squishy tomatoes that I have to do something with immediately.

This weeks ads are mediocre, but for the first time I actually have a decent amount left from the week before..
The Meals:
Wednesday cereal, coffee
Thursday crap coffee, toast
Friday  birthday cake and crap coffee (birthday cake does take the edge off bad coffee, and no judgement please. This is why I didn't want the damn cake to begin with)
Saturday   eggs, grits and gloriously delicious coffee (at the lake)
Sunday toast, coffee (me) toast coffee, eggs (TheHub)
Monday toast, coffee, 2 Hershey's Nuggets (The were screaming at me so what else could I do?)
Tuesday banana muffin, coffee
Wednesday leftover sausage, veggie, noodle thing
Thursday  Independence Place volunteer day, birthday party for Mark and me. 2 slices of pizza/ diet coke
Friday  nothing (was a frustrating Mom Day. I came home and swam laps instead of having a stroke or bitch slapping someone)
Saturday cheese, tomato and onion broiled sandwiches, kefir dip, cucumber slices, carrot sticks, cauliflower florets
Sunday leftover deconstructed egg rolls (me and Son2) leftover spaghetti and meat sauce (TheHub)
Monday  leftover something (I don't even remember what it was but I was cleaning out the fridge found it and ate it whatever it was) and a banana muffin
Tuesday Volunteered at Independence Place in the afternoon and forgot to eat

Wednesday Deconstructed egg rolls, pineapple slices
Thursday Today is my birthday and the start of the Greek Food Festival.  Instead of going to a restaurant we got take out from the festival. OMG it was so delicious. spanakopita, tiropita, Greek chicken, souvlakia, pastichio, rice pilaf, salad and koulourakia.  Mom, TheHub and I all ate different things so we swapped bits and pieces with each other. Yum! Mom also baked me a birthday cake that I didn't want, but I have anyway, so it will be headed to the lake.  I know all this should not be allowed in accordance with the food budget rules, but it's my birthday and my birthday rules, so there!
Friday The Birthday celebration continued: Son2 went to the lake with us and missed the first celebration so TheHub picked up a slab of ribs on his way home. Ribs, corn on the cob (frozen from the purchase 2 weeks ago , corn is now gone) leftover baked beans (no leftovers are ever safe from my freezing, thawing and reheating) Again not in accordance with the rules I made but as I said about Thursday, my birthday, my rules!
Saturday grilled pork tenderloin, cooked carrots, green salad, apple bars
Sunday grilled hamburgers, with lettuce, pickles, onion, and tomatoes, lemonade ( from a mix purchased on week 1)
Monday leftover Greek Festival food, still delicious!
Tuesday tacos, using the last of the ground chuck, last of the lettuce, last of the cheese

mandarins, popcorn, kefir dip and veggies, the fake Fritos from Aldi with kefir dip, cheese crackers, banana muffins, birthday cake (Forgot to take the birthday cake to the lake so TheHub stopped at a bakery and bought 3 brownies and 3 apple bars.  They were a birthday gift to me that he wanted to eat!.)


  1. Of course your birthday rules. And the Greek food sounds super delicious.
    Super impressed at how you are going.

    1. The Greek food is always good. I look forward to it each year and they are kind enough to always have it around my birthday!

  2. Happy Belated Birthday. Even with the deviations your budget and meal plan kicks mine to the curb. Well done.

    1. I am trying but I am also finding what a pain in the butt decision making can be. I waited until Monday before buying the coffee, just to make sure I have enough to cover without going over.

  3. Happy Birthday! Those nuggets keep calling my name! The birthday cake was a manifestation of love. I think it was sweet and funny that your husband bought something for your birthday that he wanted to eat. Good job on your four week challenge.

    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes. The cake was both a love and guilt offering! The quote from Mom was "Oh so you can go to lunch and let Independence Place have a party for you but you won't let me bake you a cake?" Now can we all say "passive aggressive"?

  4. Happy Belated Birthday, Anne! You're doing this for another month, right? What's the biggest thing you've learned so far?

    1. Thank you for the birthday greetings. Yes I am doing this for another month. I am cooking just about everything from scratch, but I mostly do that anyway, so the cooking time was expected. What I did find unexpected was the amount of time just deciding what to buy where in astounding. I have always cherry picked 4 stores, all within the same distance from my house and all near things I do just about every day, so no real special trips ever had to be taken to go to them, with the exception of Aldi which is just a little off my beaten path (but still near a couple of things I do nearly every week) Before I only bought meats and chicken from The Pig. I know the butcher there and he has special ordered or butchered me many things in the past (like fresh uncured ham or standing rib roasts) He even grinds roasts once for me for my chili or frenches my lamb chops. I actually feel a little disloyal to him buying things at other stores. So I have learned I am a huge food snob. I have also learned I cannot eat as many vegetables a day as I normally do ($$$$$), that mixed green salads can be a luxury item (depending on the week's food ads), that milk multiplies like rabbits in my refrigerator, that these recent good egg prices are wonderful and I am incorporating eggs in a lot of foods.
      I am having to spend a lot more time thinking of how I am going to prepare foods to make whatever I have go further, and finding I can be a tyrant when/if anyone tries to eat something dedicated to another meal.
      I will be very glad when the next few weeks are over and glad it will carry me into a different produce season.

      Oh and brown rice__I have learned to cook a lot of it at the beginning of the week (my food week starts Wednesday) to have on hand to add as needed to meals. I am packing it in 1 1/2 cup bowls and freezing it just to have something to pull out on the fly.

    2. I find Aldi's produce pretty good and we're eating more salads since I started shopping there.

  5. Happy birthday!!! And a huge congrats on not bitch slapping someone. I have problems with that one too.

    1. Thank you for the birthday thoughts. Yeah my sister and I say we are going to go on a national bitch slapping tour and take requests. I guess we will be proxy bitch slappers

  6. Happy birthday! And it's nice to be spoilt on your birthday - if not then, well when? Anna

  7. Happy birthday! I am glad your mom was able to bake you a cake, even if you didn't want it.

    1. I'm glad she was able to also, I just wish she hadn't!

  8. Happy birthday! I firmly believe that when chocolate is screaming at you, you need to punish it by eating it :)

    What do the asterisk by the taco shells and the ground beef mean?

  9. Sorry, it means something I had in the freezer already, but I weighed it and assigned last weeks price to it

  10. No one thought to bring you a starbucks?